Imagine the Horn grandchildren – all nine of them, ages 1-9. They all live within fifteen minutes of each other and get together to play often. And then, seemingly overnight, the world changed.
No longer do they go to school, to church, to daycare, to the playground, or get together with cousins. All of them, except for the one-year-old, knew things just were not right anymore. They just kept hearing, “we can’t do this because of the coronavirus.” I cannot imagine how a four-year-old, a five-year-old, a six-year-old can understand all of this.
And now Mom and Dad are home all day, looking at their computer screens, and saying they need to get work done. It is a day of zoom meetings, phone calls, planning projects, writing reports, databases – all with the background chatter of the children at home. Ok, sometimes it was more than background chatter – more like distractions, interruptions, melt-downs – what a challenge for all of them! Often the parents ended up working late-night hours after the little ones were in bed just to keep up with work deadlines.
Then came the bright spot – “Story Time with Aunt Gina.” In pre-pandemic times, when the cousins would get together, they were often gathered around Aunt Gina, who was reading books to them. She loved taking the time to pick out books that would reflect the certain celebration, or that she thought the kids would love.
It was during the pandemic that Gina had the idea to have a zoom call just for the children. It would be a special time for them. At noon on Saturdays, they would all join the zoom call, and Aunt Gina would read books to them. They could follow along with the books projected on the computer screen. She pulled up her Kindle app and rummaged through the free library to find books that would lighten the mood. The type of books that would inspire their little imaginations and make them laugh. It was like having lunchtime theater. It also gave them a time to see each other. The story time would always turn into a time where the cousins could just talk and share what they had been doing that week. It was their happy hour. It’s that bright spot during this pandemic that I truly hope they will take with them.
“Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Sally Horn and Gina Horn
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.